Home / Our Analyses / Beneath EU’s blanket of optimism about controlling irregular migration, holes and hidden figures remain in its policy financing

Beneath EU’s blanket of optimism about controlling irregular migration, holes and hidden figures remain in its policy financing

By PATRICK STEPHENSON , BRUSSELS – The European Commission adopted its ‘hotspot’ approach in May 2015, during the enormous refugee wave that saw over a million people journey across the Mediterranean towards Europe. While EU members generally control their own borders and process asylum application, the Commission conceived of ‘hotspots’ as a way to provide direct operational support to Greece and Italy, the destinations for most migrants, many of them refugees from Syria.

But how has this approach’s administration and financing been handled? A special report on the Italian and Greek hotspots was released on…

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Horizon 2020 programme throws cash at cybersecurity-related security projects, hoping something will stick to the Dark Web

By PATRICK STEPHENSON, with BROOKS TIGNER, BRUSSELS – Among the measures included in European Commission’s cybersecurity package, adopted on 13 September 2017, is the goal of transforming the European Union Agency for Information Security (ENISA) into a new cybersecurity agency. The Commission is also pushing researchers to study new ways to tackle Europe’s burgeoning cybercrime threats. The need is great, to say the least. According to the EU, ransomware attacks increased by 300 per cent between 2015 and 2017, and may increase four-fold again by 2019. One of the workshops during the 6 December meeting of the Commission’s “Community of Users” (CoU) of security research stakeholders (see related article in this issue) focused on cybercrime, several related research projects and the eye-raising statistics that confront authorities in their efforts to combat it. As Michele Socco of the Commission’s home affairs directorate-generale (DG HOME) told the workshop, “65 percent of digital evidence is...